Lighting for 55 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Lighting for 55 gallon

Hi. This is my first planted tank, and I've researched about the different parts of the aquarium, but this factor still confuses me: Lighting. In hoping to get a 55 gallon tank, and it needs medium-high lighting. My biggest concern is lifespan though- I want a light that I don't have to replace often. Is there anything that would meet preferences?
*Also, I have no experience in this hobby (except for a betta) and all ideas are still open now. Is there anything you guys would suggest? (I.e. tank size, fish, algae control, or anything that else would help a newbie).
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 01:15 AM
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Easiest is 2 shop lights from hardware store.. just make sure when u buy it to pick up warm lamps for it above 5000k. I have one cool light in one of the fixtures for dusk and dawn look (I run the one t8 fixture with 6100k bulbs for mid day blast to replicate nature) than I would suggest looking into DIY Led although I haunt made one yet but will be for my reef tank
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 01:54 AM
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If you want something you don't have to replace often, then led would be the way to go. Bigger cost upfront but you get around 40-50,000 hrs on them, which is probably more than a person stays in the hobby anyways. Finnex just came out with a 48" fixture that might be what you are looking for, I own a 16" ray2 and love it. If you do want to go high light, make sure to get yourself a pressurized co2 system because you will surely need it.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 06:02 PM
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T5s last a good while. Some people run them until they burn out without problems. And has a nice 3 bulb T5HO fixture for $149, that may be a nice fit for a 55G. But I'm not sure if it would be considered high or medium high.


Of course you realize running high light will require CO2 injection.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 06:24 PM
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What do you consider "often"? Standard florescent tubes only need to be replaced once to twice a year. Every 8-12 months, or every 6 months at most. I change them every 6 months, so twice a year doesn't seem that often to me.

You can go LED, though is more expensive it should have a longer lifespan.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 06:32 PM
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Also wanted to add that aside from being a little more expensive you will also have less options with LED. Especially in regards to changing the light spectrum such as changing from 6,700k light to 10,000k (or 7,000k), using color enhancing bulbs, or combinations of.
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help me please, lighting, newbie questions, suggestions, tank size

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